BY DEAN PAPPAS M.D.
It’s been estimated that three out of four adults will suffer from hemorrhoids at some point in their life. Dr. Dean P. Pappas and the other doctors at our colorectal surgery offices serving Nesconset and East Setauket, NY can help. There are many at-home and professional treatments available to address this issue.
As common as hemorrhoids are, not many people really understand what they are and why they happen. The team at Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York would like to go over some of the basics regarding hemorrhoids, with a focus on what causes them and common risk factors associated with the condition.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Also known as piles, hemorrhoids are clusters of veins just beneath the mucus membranes lining the anus and lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids are located within the anus, while external hemorrhoids are located along the edge or just outside of the anus.
Colloquially, most people use hemorrhoids to refer to the swelling of these clusters of veins, which can causes itchiness, pain, discomfort, and even blood in the stool.
The Most Common Causes of Hemorrhoids
The most common causes of hemorrhoids include:
- Straining on the toilet
- Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- Low-fiber diets
- Strained coughing
- Prolonged sitting
- Heavy lifting
- Anal intercourse
In the cases of straining while on the toilet or sitting on the toilet for long periods of time, these issues typically infer with normal blood flow to the veins of the anus and rectum. This can make hemorrhoids more likely.
We should also note that while the actions and conditions above are commonly associated with hemorrhoids, it’s also possible for people to develop hemorrhoids for unknown reasons.
Hemorrhoid Risk Factors
Age tends to be a major contributing risk factor to hemorrhoids since the tissues supporting the anus and rectum tend to stretch with time, becoming weaker in the process. People who are middle-aged and older are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. Genetics can also play a factor since some people have a predisposition to this condition.
Tips for Preventing Hemorrhoids
There are plenty of ways to prevent hemorrhoids from occurring that do not require professional attention. That includes the following:
- Eating a high-fiber diet
- Using fiber-supplements to avoid irregularity
- Staying hydrated to prevent constipation
- Not sitting still for prolonged durations
- Exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight
Treatments for Hemorrhoids
Mild hemorrhoids can usually be managed at home with ease by taking warm baths, using medicated creams and lotions, prescription drugs, and changing your diet. If a person suffers from severe hemorrhoids, a number of professional procedures are available. These include:
- Injection sclerotherapy
- Infrared coagulation (IRC)
- Hemorrhoidal ligation
During your visit to our practice, we can perform an examination and determine the ideal course of treatment. We’ll also suggest various preventive measures to help ensure the condition does not recur, or if it does that the severity of the condition is manageable.
Contact Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York
For more information about hemorrhoids and how they can be successfully treated, be sure to contact our team of colorectal surgery specialists. You can reach our Garden City office by phone at (516) 494-3027 and our Nesconset office at (516) 494-3027.